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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I Could Tell You Stories


Full disclosure requires that while I never met America’s premier memoirist Patricia Hampl  personally , my reading of her books tells me we grew up on the East Side in St. Paul about the same time, my parents knew and patronized her parents florist shop, we both attended the University of Minnesota (where she later taught) and we’re familiar with the hospital where I was born and she cared for her mother.  For more background and a previous review of her book The Florists  Daughter   click on    http://troutbirder.blogspot.com/search?q=Patricia+Hampl

In I Could Tell You Stories – Sojourns in the Land of Memory Patricia Hampl has written a thoughtful, original study of memoir, both in reflections on her own life and on the works of other notable memoirists over almost two thousand years—including  Saint Augustine, Anne Frank, Edith Stein (a convert from Judaism to Catholicism, who became a martyr under the Nazis), Sylvia Plath, and Walt Whitman. In this era of titillating  memoir as melodrama, Hampl has restored the form to something provocative and serious, at the same time writing a highly readable series of linked essays in which she probes issues of morality and truth and the historical importance of the recorded life. The prose, reflecting Hampl the poet, sings as she meditates.

This book is for writers and thinkers of any genre.  She provides us with a collection of essays which reveal how the even most mundane aspects of life’s experiences can allow us to write thoughtfully and well. This is a profound book as the author shares insights into the views of writers she admires.  She reaches across history, philosophy, poetry, and religion to connect with memory.   For anyone aspiring to the writer’s calling…. This book is a good place to start.


 

 

 



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@Barrie Summy

14 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

one I will have to look for,just started a new one by Edna Buchanan

Valerie said...

She sounds like a very clever writer with an ability to write about many things. I'll look out for this book.

Anvilcloud said...

Interesting to read a book by someone whom you sorta almost kinda knew.

Stacy said...

Sounds interesting. I haven't read Patricia Hampl in years, but this sounds like it belongs on my bookshelves.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have read something by Ms. Hampl. Just can't remember what. This looks like one worth seeking out.

Arkansas Patti said...

You really did almost cross paths. Your own 6 degrees of Patricia Hampl. This sounds worth tracking down. Thanks.

Linda McLaughlin said...

How interesting that your paths nearly crossed so long ago.

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

I love it when writers are able to bring the mundane, everyday things to life. This sound interesting!

Sarah Laurence said...

How cool to find an author whose life parallels your own! This sounds like a good old fashioned memoir without the sensational hype and tell-all.

Barrie said...

Interesting! This books sounds very different from what I usually read. And I think it's always good to venture off the beaten path. And I loved "The prose .... sings as she meditates." Thank you for reviewing!

Jenn Jilks said...

A thoughtful review. Well done!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Bubba Muntzer said...

It's interesting how you tie her writing to your analysis of writing. I do that when I read what you write albeit not as eloquently.

I'd like to read her book. She sounds more like you and less like that other Minnesota storyteller who has that PBS program on the weekend and annoys me to no end with his pomposity.

Jenn Jilks said...

I love that, 'full disclosure!'

Jenn Jilks said...

This sound large! I like it!